The term ‘nutrition’ refers to the supply of food materials that are required by organisms as well as cells in order to stay alive. In science as well as in human medicine, ‘nutrition’ refers to the science or practice of consuming and utilising foods.
In hospital environments, ‘nutrition’ may encompass the food requirements that patients have. These include nutritional solutions which are delivered via an IV (intravenous) or, alternatively, an IG (intragastric) tube.
What is good nutrition science?
Nutritional science focuses on dietary concerns and health issues surrounding food, eating, and medicine. This science is a multi-faceted field which is rooted in chemistry, biology and the social sciences. There are many areas of specialisation in nutrition science and encompasses:
- The study of behaviours as well as social factors that are related to food choices,
- Food and wellness,
- Community nutrition,
- Exercise science, and
- Nutrition education.
Scientifically speaking, nutrition science studies how the human body breaks food down (catabolism) as well as how it repairs and creates cells and tissue (anabolism). Catabolism as well as anabolism combined can also be referred to as metabolism.
What is metabolism?
The term ‘metabolism’ is refers to the bodily processes which are needed in order to maintain life. However, when one hears the word “metabolism” used nowadays, it’s typically related to weight issues. You may have heard a person say, “I can’t lose weight because I have a slow metabolism.”
While there’s some truth to this statement there are other factors — such as how much you eat as well as exercise — that play a much bigger role in your ability to lose weight as opposed to your metabolism. It’s true that the quantity of lean body mass you have can affect how many calories you burn while you’re at rest, its effect is limited.
There are several factors that can affect your metabolism. Here are some of them:
- Some medications can have a significant effect on your metabolism. They can either dangerously speed it up or slow it down.
- Eating breakfast every day can stimulate your metabolism.
- When you lose weight — especially quickly — you actually slow down your metabolism. This is because it takes a lot less energy for your body to operate at a lower weight. This means that as you lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories or get more physically active in order to burn more calories so that you can keep losing weight.
- As you get advance in years, your metabolism gets slower and slower. Generally speaking, as you age you gain fat as well as lose muscle. Some older people also become less active. However, you can stop this slow decline in its tracks and take on more physical exercise in order to make up for your slower metabolism.
Are there foods which can speed up my metabolism?
Certain foods can increase your metabolism and, at the same time, assist you with losing weight.
Iron, zinc as well as selenium each play different – however equally important – roles in the proper functioning of your body. This being said, they do have one thing in common: all three are required for the proper function of your thyroid gland, which regulates your metabolism. Research indicates that a diet which is too low in iron, zinc or selenium may reduce the capability of your thyroid gland to produce sufficient amounts of hormones which can slow down your metabolism.
Some foods rich in iron are:
- Liver and Other Organ Meats
- Red Meat
Some of the zinc-rich foods are:
- Whole Grains
Other selenium-rich foods are:
If you’re worried about an aspect of your nutrition, the best thing for you to do is to consult a nutritionist who will be able to steer you on the correct path.